Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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My Review of ALADDIN

Aladdin, rated PG
***

Aladdin is an enjoyable live action remake of the 1992 animated Disney film that starred Robin Williams as the Genie. The new film is directed by Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes), and the screenplay is written by Ritchie and John August (Big Fish). The film includes songs from the original version written by eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken (Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid), and two-time Oscar winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid). The film had a budget of approximately $183 million, and runs two hours and eight minutes, or thirty-eight minutes longer than the original.
The film opens with Will Smith as a mariner on a boat in the ocean telling his two young children the story of Aladdin and the Genie. It then takes us to the city of Agrabah, where Aladdin, a poor “street rat” thief, played by Mena Massoud and his small monkey Abu, are walking through the marketplace looking for items to steal. Continue reading


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MOVIE REVIEW ~ The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

The Man from UNCLEThe Man from U.N.C.L.E., rated PG-13
***

This film is based on the popular 1960’s (1964-1968) television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law and Enforcement), starring Robert Vaughan and David McCallum. It can be looked at as a prequel and sets up the possibility of a new series of films. The film is directed and co-written by Guy Ritchie.

The film is set in the early 1960’s during the Cold War. It starts out with an exciting opening scene featuring Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill of Man of Steel) meeting auto mechanic Gaby (Alicia Vikander of Ex Machina) in East Berlin. Victoria’s father, who she hasn’t seen for some time is a nuclear bomb expert. As Solo tries to get her out of East Berlin, they are chased by Russian Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer of The Lone Ranger), who has incredible strength and tenacity.

After Solo and Gaby escape, they soon find out that they will be partnering with Kuryakin to save the world against a Nazi-like organization led by Victoria Vinciguerra (Elizabeth Debicki). As they go undercover, Illya portrays a Russian architect and Gaby is his fiancée.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film which includes some good action scenes, deception, beautiful scenery and clothing, music, cars and technology from the 1960’s. Cavill and Hammer often did their own stunts in the film. Hugh Grant is effective in a small role in the film as Waverly.

The film is rated PG-13 for action violence and one scene of partial nudity. There is some sexual content, though nothing explicit is shown. For a PG-13 film there is minimal adult language, which was refreshing. I enjoyed the humor between the two main characters.

The film will inevitably be compared with Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, released just two weeks ago. Ironically, Cruise was originally cast to play Napolean Solo, but chose to make the Mission Impossible film instead. Cavill, who was at first considered for the role of Illya, was then cast as Solo. This film, though not nearly as good as Mission Impossible, is still an entertaining summer film, and worthy of a sequel to further develop these characters.